Fathom Favorites : Austin Restaurants

1. Whip In

Whip In

Austin is a city known for its innovation, and this mashup — gastropub meets Tex-mex meets Indian fusion — may be just the thing we never knew we needed. Chutney con queso? Pulled pork sandwiches on naan? Yes, please.

1950 S. IH 35 Frontage Rd.
Austin, TX 78704

2. Sandy's Hamburgers

Their frozen custard and hot dogs cure all.

603 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78704

3. Bottecelli's


Delicious Italian food courtesy of the handsome Botticelli brothers of Chicago. (Do not mention the Bears unless you want to be there for hours.) Start at the bar and ask Tim, the manager/bartender, to pour you a pinot nero, then sit out back and order the amazing Botticelli bread, a bread pillow with stuffings — kind of like the love child of a pizza and a calzone. The original (grandma's recipe) has prosciutto, coppa, mortadella, salami, and cheese. 

1321 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704

4. Hillside Farmacy

Hillside Farmacy

Classy bistro food in an old-fashioned drug store. Your prescription: gigantic sandwiches and homemade fountain sodas. 

1209 E. 11th St.
Austin, TX 78702

5. La Barbecue

La Barbecue

This barbecue trailer’s tender, smoky, flavorful brisket is said to rival Franklin BBQ's —high praise from Austinites. It is in a section of town that in two years might be just as busy as Rainey St., but for now, it still flies under the radar.

1906 E. Cesar Chavez St.
Austin, TX 78702

6. Barley Swine

Barley Swine

Bryce Gilmore moved his beloved nose-to-tail restaurant to a bigger, better spot uptown. His tasting menu is still there, but with new a la carte additions like crab tamales and pig skin noodles. No time to leave downtown? Drop by his other South Lamar spot, Odd Duck, for equally outstanding small plates (think mustard seed tater tots, shitake doughnuts, and croissants with runny egg yolk).

6555 Burnet Rd., #400
Austin, TX 78757

7. Polvos


A classic South Austin Mexican spot. It's reliably and authentically local, with awesome salsa, enchiladas, and drinks. If there's a wait, consider walking down First Street towards the increasingly-popular gourmet food truck lot. 

2004 S. 1st St.
Austin, TX 78704

8. Josephine House

Josephine House

Don't let the white marble bar and countertops fool you: this place might be the epitome of refinement and chic, but no one's too good for breakfast hamburgers and huevos rancheros. Cure your case of the Monday's with their weekly steak frites night. 

1601 Waterson Ave.
Austin, TX 78703

9. Ramen Tatsu-Ya

Ramen Tatsu-Ya

The original location in South Lamar has a line so steady there's a water station and ropes to organize the hoards. Instead, head north to their second spot for their Tonkotsu Original, an umami-bomb with pork bone broth and pork belly.

8557 Research Blvd., #126
Austin, TX 78758

10. Sawyer & Co.

Sawyer & Co.

Go for the Cajun cuisine and Hurricanes at this diner-style spot (locals will tell you it's where Arkie's used to be). The outside patio is carpeted with astroturf, but you should sit at the counter surrounded by mid-century modern decor for crawfish etouffee or breakfast "all the time."

4827 E. Cesar Chavez St.
Austin, TX 78702

11. Justine's


A French-influenced bar and restaurant with a huge garden for cocktails, escargot, and steak frites. It's also home to the Lumiere Tintype photography trailer where you can commission and receive an old-timey self-portrait in under an hour.

4710 E. 5th St.
Austin, TX 78702

12. Dai Due

Dai Due

If you want something more unusual in the way of juicy meat, Dai Due on the Manor Road strip has an in-house butcher. Watch racks of elk swing behind the line and in front of the three adjustable wood-fired grills on their way to becoming your steak or sausage. On his quest to define a regional cuisine for central Texas, chef Jesse Griffiths sources all his ingredients from within a 30-mile radius and offers an all-Texas wine list.

2406 Manor Rd.
Austin, TX 78722

13. Veracruz All Natural

Veracruz All Natural

No trip to Austin is complete without a proper Tex-Mex breakfast. Make the trek eastward for cultish morning migas and extensive vegetarian bites by sisters Reyna and Maritza, and if you happen to visit on the weekend, be sure to order the barbacoa taco.

1704 E. Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX 78702

14. Micklethwait Craft Meats

Micklethwait Craft Meats

From Tuesdays to Saturdays, just across the I-35 in a quiet little food truck park, you'll find one of the newer barbecue spots serving delicious pulled pork and jalapeño cheese grits. If you're there on Saturday and feeling brave, try the pulled goat.

1309 Rosewood Ave.
Austin, TX 78702

15. Franklin BBQ

Franklin BBQ

Widely considered to be the best barbecue in town (if not the best in the entire country). Bring a good book and your order: brisket, ribs, crunchy slaw. Line up by 9.30 A.M. — meat sells out by noon. Closed Mondays.

900 E. 11th St.
Austin, TX 78702

16. Uchi


Tyson Cole serves adventurous Japanese plates in his cozy James Beard award-winning spot. Order the hama chili and shag roll. If you can't make it there, consider the equally great small plates at sister-spot Uchiko.

801 S. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78704

17. Gourdough's


The most inventive and lip-smacking doughnuts you never dared dream about, served up from a vintage airstream trailer. Most people rave about the bacon doughnut, but also try the Blue Balls: small rounds of dough with an incredible blueberry sauce.

1503 S. 1st St.
Austin, TX 78704

18. Contigo


Fresh from the ranch, this bar food comes with a few winning twists, like ox tongue sliders, rabbit, and dumplings. Cocktails are stellar, so stick around for happy hour.

2027 Anchor Ln.
Austin, TX 78723

19. Jo's


A beloved local institution where you'll find an eclectic mix of artists, techies, musicians, and politicians getting a start to their day with a caffeinated beverage and a breakfast taco. It's also where you'll find the original "I love you so much" mural, so you know it's Instagram-approved. 

1300 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704